Republicans disagree on 2006 budget package, delay vote

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The House postponed a vote Thursday on a 2006 budget reconciliation package that contains measures affecting nursing homes and residents.

Republicans failed to come to agreement on the package, even after they dropped a measure that would allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The bill would save $53.9 billion over five years, including nearly $11 billion in Medicaid cuts. Democrats are united against the plan.
Among other measures, the bill would make it more difficult for residents to qualify for Medicaid for long-term care. It would extend the asset transfer look-back period to five years and change the date of penalty for improper transfers to the date of entry into long-term care. It would also require the disclosure of annuities and asset transfers of more than $100,000. Home equity of $500,000 and more would be counted against Medicaid eligibility, according to the bill.
(Published 11-11-05)